Bali may be overrun with tourists for many years, but it still is for many reasons. Not only does is there many must visit places in Bali, there are also activities that you can indulge in.
Travelers here would not be bored and will definitely find something to do that will suit them. Be it from just partying at the beach and drinking the night away, to culture, arts, and history or from adventures to relaxing with spa and yoga, Bali does have a lot to offer.
With so many to choose from, here are some of the recommended things to do in Bali for you to start with:
Interact with locals
One of the best things in independent travel is that you have the ample time to truly connect and interact with the locals. Eat at the local warung, chat up with the owner, take a local public transport and talk to people around you, ask for direction, ask for ideas, talk to the people you meet on the streets and just join in some of the fun stuff they are doing. With this, you can learn the Balinese way of life and the how friendly and hospitable the people can be.
Join a festival like Bali Arts Festival
The Balinese knows their arts well and they celebrate in style. Bali Arts Festival is an annual event, normally held from June to July. This is a well known event throughout the world where travelers from all over the world travel to Bali to catch this festival of a full month of daily cultural performances, handicraft exhibitions and many more arts related activities.
Splurge and have a cocktail in Ayana Bar on Rocks
Ayana bar on rocks is known as the best bar in bar with long line of people daily trying to get in and have a drink on this bar that is perched on a cliff overlooking the sea and waves crashing the rocks below. Get a cocktail here, which is surprisingly good, and drink your night away staring at the roaring sea that seem to stretched into infinity with white waves crashing in like a spectacular natural show. If you stay at Ayana Resorts and Spa * you can skip the queue and enjoy every evening!
Learn to surf on Kuta Beach
If there is one place on earth you want to learn to surf, Bali may be one of the good choices. Kuta beach have the waves breaking over sand rather than corals, making it a haven for beginner surfers. There are many good surf schools here so you are not short of choice, with famous ones like Odyssey or Rip Curl SchooL of Surf, else you can always hire a local guide for a cheaper alternative. After the surf, relax and unwind with drinks and sunset at Ku De Ta and stay at one of the hotels near Kuta Beach * to maximise your surfing.
Climb Mount Batur at Kintamani
If the surfs have not broken your bones yet, you may want to try yet another adventure in Bali. Climb the famous Mount Batur, a volcanic mountain that rises over a lake which beautifully mirrors it. It is best to be conquered in the morning, where there are hikers starting their ascent as early at 4am to reach in time to catch the sunrise at 6am. It may be cold so remember to bring a jacket and always remember to be careful as it is an active volcano and there are accidents that happened on this mountain before. This is not a physically demanding hike, unlike its cousin Mount Rinjani on nearby Lombok Island which takes several days, Mount Batur which stands at 1,700m can be done in just a morning.
Watch Kecak Dance in Puri Dalem Taman Kaja
Kecak dance is one of the traditional dance and musical drama in Bali that is enchanting and favourite among travelers. Kecak dance has 150 performers wearing check cloth around their waist chant the word “cak” while throwing up their arms in the depiction of the battle of Ramayana, with roots of the dance dating back to Sanghyang, a trance-like exorcism dance of the old. The best place to watch it is on the temple grounds of Puri Dalem Taman Kaja, where you will find an authentic atmosphere and setting.
Explore Bali on two wheelsYou can find many cycle tours in Bali now simply because it is such a wonder to explore Bali this way. For those who rather go independent, you may also rent a bicycle and do your own exploring to your heart’s content. Some of the places to explore are the surrounding villages and rice paddy fields, soaking in the arts and culture and the hard working locals. Also, cycle to Monkey Forest to visit the crab-eating macaques and then head on to Goa Gajah, known as one of the holiest places in Bali. Then end your day in the village of Petulu, where you might catch a massive migration of Heron returning to their roost.
White water Rafting on Ayung River at Sayan
Ayung river, right down inside the Ayung gorge, is very scenic for a white water rafting. Imagine yourself rafting through the very heart of Bali, with you riding the wild rapids through rice paddies, people working the fields and children playing. You will feel like as if you are traveling in speed and style through a motion picture of the hidden parts of this paradise island. There are two well-established operators that you can find on the main road in Sayan, but there are also other new operators which open up in recent years.
|-> White Water Rafting in Bali with Gourmet Lunch tour at City-discovery.com *|
Eat seafood in Jimbaran bay
At Jimbaran Bay, you may walk down along the beach and find it dotted with warungs and candle-lit tables like mushrooms after the rain. Here you can dine on prawns, squids and fishes fresh of the sea onto your table, almost literally. Couple it by feasting over the sun setting over the horizon make this authentic setting much more atmospheric. Unsurprisingly, as one of the popular area for people to stay, Jimbaran hotels * are people’s favourite.
Snorkel or dive the reefs of Bali
While Bali have so much to offer on land and beaches and mountains, do not forget the marvels of what’s under the sea. Here the sea is full of wild marine life such as manta rays and turtles while surrounded by beautiful coral reefs. For the best snorkeling experience, take a boat out the coastline to Lembongan Island, where the reefs surrounding it are spectacular. Here divers can also experience a 40 m drop off into the wonders of the sea.
Best Accommodations in BaliBooking.com is my favourite site to book a place Bali when I am planning my trip. The main reason is that most of the bookings can be cancelled right up to the trip, allowing flexibility. Here are a few of the best accommodations that we recommend to stay in Bali:
- Luxury (from 150 USD)
- The Oberoi, Seminyak
For those who are looking for privacy and to splurge for a honeymoon or special occasions. With quick access to Seminyak beach, this Balinese inspired accommodation is built on 15 acres of tropical gardens. The Frangipani Cafe inside here is famed for its cuisine. Notable are their open-air massage pavilions and outdoor pool overlooking the ocean. Check out the latest prices on Booking.com *
- Tandjung Resort, Sanur
For those who appreciate traditional architectures and design. This hotel, built way back in 1962, encapsulates the Balinese style and spirit. Among the spacious gardens are thatched roofed bungalows, pavilions, sculptures and fish ponds. It also has direct access to the Sanur beach. Check out the latest prices on Booking.com *
- Mid-range (50 – 150 USD)
- Sri Ratih Cottage, Ubud
For those who is looking for unpretentious comfort with Balinese charm. Located in Ubud, our favourite place to stay in Bali, the Balinese style cottages with carved wood furnishings are set in beautiful gardens with a pool. Check out the latest prices on Booking.com *
- Resort Courtyard by Marriott Bali, Seminyak
Marriott is a trusted brand for many and this one in Bali lives up to its name. This secured luxury is located just 5 minutes walk to Seminyak beach. A noted feature is its private terraces for relaxation, hence making it a favourite of couples. Check out the latest prices on Booking.com *
- Budget (below 50 USD)
- Nick’s Pension, Ubud
For those who are seeking a mixture of peace and action in the heart of Bali – Ubud. The rooms come with traditional Indonesia architecture and air-condition. There are also a swimming pool, restaurant, Wifi and parking provided. Check out the latest prices on Booking.com *
- Linda Villa, Sanur
For the budget conscious, this guesthouse in Sanur is a steal, featuring swimming pools, clean air-conditioned rooms and a simple breakfast. It is located at a quiet place with only 15 minutes easy walk to the beach. Prices starting from only 24 USD! Check out the latest prices on Booking.com *